Monemvasia is a place that combines the Middle Ages, Byzantium and the Republic of Venice. It is located approximately 90 km east of Sparta on the eastern coast of the Peloponnesian peninsula of Epidaurus Limera, and is one of the most beautiful destinations in Greece. Monemvasia refers to a large piece of rock 1.8 km long and 300 m high, connected by a dyke to Laconia's mainland. This historical landmark has been perfectly preserved and is inhabited throughout the year. It was founded in the 6th century A.D. In 1464 it was conquered by the Venetians, in 1540 by the Turks and then again by the Venetians. The Turks retook Monemvasia in 1715 and it was later liberated as part of the 1821 Revolution. Since then, it has been a part of Greece.
Places of interest
Walk down the alleyways of Kato Poli (the lower city), the central street, and take a look at all the Byzantine chapels and buildings. Visit the archaeological collection of Monemvasia on Elkomenos Christos square, which is also where you will find a very impressive church of the same name. Other major churches include Agios Nicolaos, Panagia Myrtidiotissa and Agia Anna.
In the Ano Poli (upper city) located at the top of the rock you can still see the fortified gate, the high walls as well as several buildings. Among the ruins is the house of the Venetian Governor. On the eastern tip of the rock stands the octagonal church of Agia Sofia, built around the year 1200.
In Monemvasia's Nea Poli (new city) you will find many hotels, eateries and entertainment areas as well as other tourist facilities. The beach is nice but you will find truly beautiful beaches not very far from Monemvasia, such as those of Pera Kakavos and Pori.